Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two Key Maryland Cases End Today

1. The Fourth Circuit's "black monkeys" case narrowed Title VII's anti-retaliation protection for employees working in Maryland. The Court held that by reporting to your boss that your co-worker called African-Americans "black monkeys" and "black apes," you are not opposing discrimination in the workplace (and therefore not entitled to Title VII's anti-retaliation protections). The Court reasoned that because a single discriminatory outburst does not violate Title VII, opposing such an outburst is not entitled to protection. See here, here, here, and here. Today, the Supreme Court declined to review the Fourth Circuit's decision in Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corp.

2. Attorney General Douglas Gansler today announced he would not seek Supreme Court review of the Fourth Circuit's decision holding that the Maryland's Wal-Mart law is preempted by ERISA. The Wal-Mart law, summarized here, would have required the company to spend at least 8% of its total wages on health insurance.

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